Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week 13 Update

I saw someone on another blog do this, and I thought it would be fun to copy-cat!

At 12 weeks, 3 days
How far along?  13 Weeks, 4 days
Total weight gain/measurements: -16 pounds (according to last doctor visit)
Maternity clothes:  Haven't bought any yet. All of my clothes still fit pretty well. Some have even gotten looser.

Sleep: Like a rock, until about 9:30 or so in the morning. Then I am awake for the day, no matter how late I went to bed the night before or how tired I still feel.
Best moment this week: Being goofy with the hubs last night. :)

Miss anything? Being able to eat. My ability to eat more than four bites without feeling nauseous is starting to come back, but only occasionally.
Movement: Yes! Lots of movement, but I can't feel it yet. Hopefully in another 3 weeks or so I will finally be able to!

Food cravings: This week it has been chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes, gravy, and macaroni and cheese. A couple weeks ago it was biscuits and gravy. Very early on it was crunchy tacos from Taco Bell.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Nothing really seems to "make" me feel queasy, it's more of a perpetual state at this point. Although, I'm sure David will testify that he has heard the phrases, "That sounds GROSS!" and "WHY did you tell me that?!?" more often now than ever before. Ever.

Gender:  7 weeks til we find out!

Labour signs: Not yet.

Symptoms: Nope
Wedding rings on or off? Both on. They've gotten looser and will fall off if I shake my hand around.
Happy or moody most of the time: Moody. Definitely MOODY.
Looking forward to: Reaching a point where I feel good again most of the time. So sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. Also, I am really looking forward to finding out the gender. I need to shop!

Monday, November 05, 2012

You Give and Take Away

The song on my mind this morning:
Blessed be the name of the Lord,
Blessed the name.
Blessed be His glorious name.
Every blessing you pour out I turn back to praise.
When the darkness closes in, Lord,
Still I will say, "Blessed be the name of the Lord!"
You give and take away.
My heart will choose to say, "Lord, blessed be your name."

It's been almost a week since my mother passed away. I am finally able to compose some semblance of coherent thought about it today. I can't believe it. I still have it running through my mind, "Just don't think about, just don't think about it. If I don't think about it, it didn't happen...."

However, over the course of the week I have had little glimpses from the Spirit of blessings that God sprinkled out on us during our last little bit of time with her. I took her with me to my 10-week sonogram. She was so, so excited, and said at the time that this was major to her-- it was the first time for her to get to see a sonogram in person. She never had one herself, so had never been in the room and seen it/ experienced it being done. She was also so thrilled about having another little grandbaby! She told almost everyone we came across. And during the sonogram, the baby put on quite a show for his/her Grammy! He jumped around and kicked his little legs quite a bit, and sucked on his thumb the whole time. Mom thought that was really cute.

Another big blessing of that day was that we accidentally showed up 2 hours early. We had planned that day to take her out to lunch with us, and then go to the hospital and be on time. Mom was never on time, so we planned on giving ourselves a full 2 hours to eat lunch and then get to the appointment. The original appointment time was at 3pm. So, in our plans that turned into "Pick Mom up at 1pm". Then the day before, when we were talking about it, we forgot that we had already scheduled extra time into our plans, so we thought, "The appointment is at 1, we'll pick her up at 11am".

Well, regardless of the way the snafoo came about, it was a major blessing. We took Mom to eat at Cafe Max- she had never been there before, and she LOVED it. She also loved getting to try new things, which made it doubly good. We got to the doctor at 1, and discovered our error, but it wasn't a problem because she got to go shopping at the 2 boutiques on the first level of the hospital. And, one of them had a SALE! She had a great time, and bought a couple of family members some Christmas gifts.

I'm not sure that I'm ready to really discuss everything that has been happening lately, but I take great comfort in knowing how much she enjoyed her last weeks on this earth. She spent a lot of time with her "little Kylie" (my brother's 4-year-old), and made a fantastic costume for my 7-year-old neice Shayce. She spent time with my dad, and they came over to my house together several times recently. I've been having some struggles with being pregnant, and she was always wanting to bring something by that she thought might sound good to me, or something she had found on sale for the baby. I had to have an at-home fluid IV two weeks ago, and she and Dad came over and stayed with me during the day while David was at work, just in case someone came to the door or I needed something that would be awkward for me to get myself while dealing with an IV pole. They brought whoppers from Burger King for lunch, and jalapeno poppers from Weinerschnitzel- healthy eating wasn't really on the agenda, I guess (lol). She also brought me grapes several times in the last month- I've been craving them. She enjoyed being able to take care of me, and loved shopping, so it seemed like my pregnancy cravings were one of her favorite reasons to do both :). She was also starting to plan and think about my oldest sister's birthday party. She loved to plan parties. This year, her idea was to have a surprise party at my sister's house- she was like, "I'll just tell Neal, and we can all just show up at her house that night! She'll be really surprised!" I told her at the time that I wasn't sure that all of us showing up unannounced to make a mess and then leave would be what my sister wanted on her birthday, but my opinion did not deter her in the slightest- she just decided to plan it with one of my other siblings instead of me... Lol.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


We're Pregnant Again!

Friday, August 24, 2012


I can't come up with a better post title...

Nothing much has been going on for me lately. I have been basking in the enjoyment of having quiet days at home and reading. I have also been delighting in Netflix and a couple current shows that I follow online. My current favorite is "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo". I can't help myself...

At the first glance, that family seems like a capsulized version of everything wrong with America today. However, it sucks you in. The best part of it is definitely Mama- her version of self-awareness coupled with her complete lack of shame make for great TV. It feels okay to laugh at the things she does and says (at least the ones that are funny...) because she is obviously in on the joke. The producers want us to think she's just a run-of-the-mill hilljack, but she is one smart cookie in my opinion. Lady can hustle.

We have another class to take at the adoption agency tomorrow. It's been a year since we took the course on behavior modification, so we are taking it again. I really, really hope we can get all the i's and t's dotted and crossed soon. I'm having a moment where all I want is to hold a baby. Preferably my own.

It's one week until my precious niece gets married! I am so excited for her, and I think the lucky guy is awesome. He seems like a very fun, kind, salt-of-the-earth kind of guy. They are perfect for each other.

Not long ago I got together with my sisters, my older nieces, and a friend for a body-wrap party. I had a great time, but the best part was spending time with family. I was amazed upon reflection at just how full of love my heart felt for them. I was all warm and squishy inside. Going home later that evening was hard- I just wanted to stay cuddled up with them, talking and soaking in their presence all night. It will be really hard when my niece moves away after she's married. I will miss her.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


David and I were talking late into the night a couple of nights ago. Sometimes it's like you can be near to one another and yet so far, and then suddenly look over and think, "oh yeah, it's you! I like you!" And then you talk and talk and talk, like slaking a thirst after wandering the desert. I love talking to him.

Anyway, we were talking about life, and children. We heard from our adoption agency caseworker last Friday with a couple of last-minute questions. She is working on gathering our file. We contacted her about three days or so after losing the baby, and let her know that we wanted to take our file off the shelf and get back into it. It was a month of blowing hot and cold with us for her. We got into contact with her in early June to let her know we wanted to go ahead and finish the licensing process. Then we were sucked into a whirlwind of activity, getting the house ready, getting inspections done, and then doing the homestudy. Five days after doing the homestudy, we found out we were pregnant. I called her the next day and told her our news, and let her know that we wanted to hold off on adopting until the baby was born and settled in. Then, two weeks later, we found out we lost the baby. Three days after that we contacted the caseworker and let her know what happened, and that we wanted back in.

At the time we contacted her to get going again, I wasn't sure I was ready to think about other children yet, as I was still mourning the death of my Tristan. Thankfully I was seeing a counselor who encouraged me to go ahead and prepare to go forward with the adoption, encouraging me that my feelings would change. She knows me well, and knows just how long David and I have wanted a family. At about 9 days out from learning I would miscarry, I was ready to start thinking about adopting and/or getting pregnant again. I am glad that we contacted our caseworker when we did because we were moved to the end of her docket, and it has taken her 3 weeks or so to get back to us. And I am definitely ready now to proceed.

So, back to my original comment- David and I were talking about life. He said that he liked our life right now. Not so much that he wants it to stay this way forever- he definitely wants all the hubbub and chaos a baby will bring, on top of the love, cuddles and cuteness. But, he said he was enjoying it for right now. He feels contentment. I feel more like I'm waiting. There's not really anything left for us to do in reaching our goals at the moment. Pregnancy and adoption are all in the hands of others at the moment. Pregnancy is in the hands of God, and adoption is too, but its also more immediately in the hands of the system and our agency. Hopefully it won't be too much longer before we can start reviewing cases and applying in specific cases to adopt.

Friday, August 10, 2012


When I was little, my dad and slightly older sister used to play a game. One would start:
"You're driving me nuts!"
Then the other would respond, "You're driving me ________________ (name of vegetable/fruit/legume/etc)!"
And it could go on a loooooong tiiiiime. "You're driving me coconuts!" "You're driving me turnips!" "You're driving me cashews!"

The penultimate response, though, which my dad always graciously left to my sister, was "You're driving me RUTABAGAS!"

My dad thought it was hilarious. C was only two or so the first time she responded with this, and it was their special game forever after. Or at least it was for a while, then graduated into the category of "cute family baby story that gets told over and over ad nauseum". But my dad never stopped finding it funny.

I have never tried a rutabaga before. I always assumed they were mythical vegetables that were the quintessential "for display only" items in the supermarket whenever anyone did find some. It never occurred to me that anyone would actually consider eating them, much less enjoy doing so.

My views have changed.

I bought a nice, big, beautiful rutabaga for the first time on Wednesday.  I have been stalking rutabaga recipes on pinterest for the last week, determined to try making them in something, and even more determined to actually like them when I did so.

My first, ill-fated attempt on Wednesday was to put them in a (very expensive) lamb roast. In the crockpot. I assumed it would smell and taste delicious. I have always liked lamb very much when I have ordered it in restaurants, as well as the handful of times that my wonderful hubs has grilled it here at home. I have found that there is a way to prepare it that I do not like. And that is to roast it in a crockpot. So that the whole house will be permeated with the stink of boiling lamb. I did my best to just eat it anyway, but it was just too much. It made me feel like gagging. And don't even ask about the rutabaga in there with it. I think it might not have been as disgusting if I hadn't absolutely decked it out ornament-on-a-Christmas-tree style in fresh rosemary. The rosemary in double portion does not equal double good.

So, I burned several candles, strained the broth out, set the vegetables aside for David to eat later (he thought they were okay, and more power to him), and then rinsed the stewed lamb of all the last vestiges of its rosemary decorations and put it in the fridge to try and revamp later. Last night I resurrected it in the form of a Persian stew over rice with turmeric, garlic, and curry, and it wasn't too bad. All the crockpot action, though, had me craving a real roast, and my determination over the rutabagas was begging me to try them again in a recipe that I already knew we loved.

So, tonight I tried again. We dug a beef roast out of the freezer from our store of beef from David's PawPaw. PawPaw is a real gem- every year he buys three or four calves, turns them out to pasture for a year, and then butchers them and divides the meat amongst his children and grandchildren. So, each year we get about 50-60 pounds of beautiful, organic, delicious beef cuts (ground meat, sirloin steaks, ribeye steaks, roasts, etc.)

After it defrosted overnight last night I dressed it up with some beef boullion, garlic, and salt and stuck it in the crockpot this morning. After taking David to work, I went by the store and bought about 4 pounds of baby carrots and two medium rutabagas. I was tempted by the leeks, but they did me wrong in the lamb roast two days prior, and I haven't forgiven them yet. Anyway, I brought home my root vegetables, cut them up, and added them to the pot.

After about 7 hours in the pot, it was finally time to give them a second go for a taste test. And they were DELICIOUS! I was impressed at how succulent they were, and how well they absorbed the flavor of the roast. They have a texture very similar to a potato, but don't have the same amount of starch and carbs as potatoes. I think I am hooked. Oh, and David loved them too.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

New Computer!

I'm typing my first post on my awesome new PINK computer. And yes I customized all color settings on the background and windows to be color-coordinated. It is SO AWESOME.

And now I'm a little depressed because my awesome new computer is here, just as I'm at a good part in a good, old-fashioned fantasy novel- and all I want to do is read. Instead of playing with my NEW PINK COMPUTER. I also have a new pink wireless mouse, a new pink laptop bag/briefcase, and will soon be getting a new white laptop stand via UPS. It's all color-coordinated.

The trials of the wealthy....

I think I am a little bit spoiled. At least David can now gleefully remove all traces of my meddling on his computer. He took delight in telling it to forget my passwords on our shared sites, like facebook. Because it is now, once again, only his. And I am never to touch it again. Lol. At least I have my Pinky. And yes, my computer's name is only in response to him naming his computer "Bluey". I have never named my computer before. And I giggle a little bit sometimes about the name of his. Mostly because he named it in reference to it's color, but in my mind it sounds like a prediction: one day it will go "ka-BLOOEY".

But, mine's name is Pinky. Bringing to mind one of the best tv quotes ever: "So what are we doing tonight, Brain? The same thing we do every night, Pinky. TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!"

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


Yesterday was our seventh anniversary! David let me order myself a fab present- the coveted pink laptop. I guess he finally got tired of me poaching his... I was so excited about it last night that I couldn't sleep. It is supposed to get here tomorrow! I literally couldn't. sleep. At about 4:30 in the morning, as I was laying in the dark, vacillating back and forth between pestering David and tossing and turning, I decided to just throw in the towel and read a book. At 5:15, it occurred to me that if I put a loaf of bread in the breadmaker, it would be done just in time for David's breakfast. And homemade bread is one of his favorites, plus it was weighing on my conscience that I hadn't done anything else for him to celebrate our anniversary. And when I asked him what I could do for him special for our anniversary earlier as we were initially going to bed, his response of "Wash me some underwear..." just didn't seem a big enough gesture. So, a surprise loaf of homemade bread it was. (And yes, I also threw in a load of underwear this evening.)

The light from my reading lamp confused David when he stirred a little at 6:15, so even though I still wasn't sleepy I turned it off so he would go back to his dreaming. After rubbing his head like a worry-stone for thirty minutes or so, I finally fell asleep too. And then jumped out of bed when the alarm went off at 8:30 to check on the bread and finish cooking breakfast. It was delicious, and I even cut him a couple slices and made a pb+j sandwich for lunch at work.

As far as everything else goes, things have pretty much returned to normal around here. It's still a little jarring seeing people that I haven't seen since before losing the baby. A lady at church approached David this last Sunday, saying she knew how embarrassing it is to be around people after announcing an "imaginary pregnancy", and she hoped I felt better soon. I'm not embarrassed, because my baby wasn't imaginary. But it's comments like that that make me feel like continuing to hide and keep my head buried at home.

So, things are progressing. And each day I feel better and things feel more normal. And my hubs is always wonderful.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Did I wish him gone?

The night that I found out I was pregnant was a little bit dream-like. I felt like it was completely unreal, like I was moving through a mist. I was so happy, yet shocked.

That night, as I was falling asleep, I suddenly felt overwhelmed. I felt panicked. It dawned on me that living, moving, growing within was a small body of a small person- a being completely other from myself. He did not have the same thoughts about the world as me. He did not have the same feelings about life as me. The sensation of his toes in the water around him was different than my sensation of having my feet in water. He was my child, and yet he was Other. His experience and perception were completely out of my control. And his ultimate destination, with all the pitfalls, losses, and mistakes in between, were out of my hands.

I felt completely exposed. And I had no way to cover my exposure. My child was and is completely and forevermore in the hands of God. While he was on Earth, I had to accept that the gossamer wisp of his soul, his essence, and the turning of his heart, were not my domain.

I was so, so scared that one day I would look at him and my heart would be broken. That he would decide to doggedly pursue a path not to my liking. That he would cast his fate into the hands of evil men, and turn away from me. Or not even do anything bad, but just close himself off from me- keep me at arms length.

I had a moment where I was scared to death of the worst, and I wished I hadn't even started down this road at all. I wished that I had just been content to live my life with just me, my husband, and my pets.

A dozen days later, I was in more pain than I have ever been in my entire life. I described it before. I felt like my gut was going to explode from the pressure and cramping. I thought that I would feel that way for many more months to come. And I had a moment where I didn't blame others for wanting an abortion. I was horrified with myself at that moment, the hours following, and even now. For a moment's time, I just wanted it to end, and I didn't care what happened to the baby at the center of the storm. This still haunts me. It was another moment that I wished him gone.

The next morning, when I got the call from the doctor, that the baby wasn't going to make it, I felt relief. My third strike. Then, instead of hearing the lesser cry of an animal, I heard the heart of my husband break. And I wept.

I was given a precious, priceless gift- and I was a swine with pearls of great price.

Mommy is sorry, Tristan. I hope you know how much I really wanted you, and will forgive me for my moments of weakness.


Today I got a call from the doctor's office. Again. I'm starting to think they've programmed my number on speed dial.

I had a D&C on Tuesday, and everything went well. They were going to look at what they took out and see if they saw any evidence of a placenta, which would rule out an ectopic pregnancy. They called this morning to tell me that there was no placental material found, and they wanted me to come in for another ultrasound to check for an ectopic pregnancy. Thankfully, they didn't find anything. It's like my baby vanished into thin air. Everything looked nice and normal, though, on the ultrasound, so that was good news.

The D&C wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Everyone was super nice and accommodating. I remember once they gave me the drugs to put me out and they started creeping into my system I became determined to give a heartfelt thanks to everyone taking care of me. The last thing I remember thinking as I fell asleep was regret that there was a nurse that appeared in my line of vision who I didn't thank. Hey, at least I didn't slur out a speech about undying love... at least I hope I didn't.

When I woke up, I recovered pretty quickly, and felt okay. I didn't get super-nauseous or anything, only a little. The meds they shot into my IV took care of it really quick, too. I had a super awesome, very restful nap during the procedure, and I was so thankful for it when I woke up.

Since coming home, I have had plenty of Vicodin, and plenty of naps. I was really only in significant pain that first night.  I had a few cramps that night, and some sharp, stabbing pains in my abdomen. I talked to my doctor that night, and he told me to just take an extra vicodin. Since then, I haven't felt too bad.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ships in the Night

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, 
only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; 
So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, 
then darkness again and a silence.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I have been thinking a lot about what exactly to say.  There is so much I want to say, but only so many words that might possibly express what's in my heart.

My joy has turned to sorrow, and my good news to bitter tidings. 

We found out on July 7, 2012 that I was pregnant. We were ecstatic, and completely over the moon, and most of all, shocked. I had been pretty certain that I was not pregnant.  We have been doing our best to overcome fertility issues the last two years, and this last cycle gave me no reason to think anything special would happen. 
Then, I started noticing little things. I was so, so tired all the time.  I needed to take a nap each evening. And, I suddenly lost all tolerance for spicy foods.  All I wanted to eat was healthy-ish stuff. I got urges to cook things like cabbage, brussel sprouts, peppers and onions, etc. And I couldn't take the smell or taste of cinnamon. These little things added up, and I finally gave in to my curiosity and took a pregnancy test. It was POSITIVE! And then I took another, and another, and finally accepted the idea that I was really pregnant!

I took the first test on a Saturday, and went in to see the doctor on Monday. They did another urine test, and got another positive result. We did blood work, and got even more confirmation. We announced our pregnancy at church and in our church small groups, and did a whole lot of celebrating.

We went down to visit David's parents to tell them the news. They were so, so excited that David's dad went to the store early the next morning and bought gifts for the baby. The started referring to themselves as Grandpa and Nana. We all went shopping together at a baby boutique in their little town's town square. That morning I had woken up with some light cramping and a little brown spotting, but I read in my pregnancy book that this was most likely normal, so we didn't worry about it. I was having a lot of gas pain and bloating, but I took this as a good sign because they say the sicker you are, the better news it is for the pregnancy.

The following Wednesday, we went for our first sonogram.  My mom came with us. This was her seventh grandchild, and the first time she would get to see an ultrasound of a grandchild in person. She was giddy, and so were we. We went in to the little room, I got ready, and then the doctor finally came in. They took a look inside, and got quiet. He told us that he couldn't see anything yet, so come back in a week and maybe we would be able to see something then. He and the nurse went back and forth about how far along I was, and whether there was any possibility that the baby might not be as old as they thought. I felt a little worried, but I figured that it would all be okay. I was still spotting a little, but that was normal, right? The doctor said that in the meantime we could do some more bloodwork. We went down to the lab, I gave some blood, and we were on our way.

That night the gas pain and pressure was terrible. I felt like my abdomen was going to explode. All I could do was lay in bed to get a little relief. I was way more worried and sorry for myself than I was for the baby. I had moments where I saw it as this little devil inside me, blowing up balloons in my gut then tying it in knots so none of the air could get out. Then kicking it. I was hurting pretty bad.

Early the next morning I received a call from one of the nurses at the doctor's office.  They said that the results were back on the blood test, and they weren't good.  It wasn't a good pregnancy. The baby was not developing, and I was going to miscarry. At first I felt relieved because I was so tired of the pain. Then I felt numb. I told David. He looked shocked and pale. Then he went to take a shower and I heard him sob a couple times. At that point it hit me: I lost my baby. I would never get to hold him, comfort him, feed him, or count his little fingers and toes. I would not be able to remark about how much he looked like his daddy. I would not get to see his wispy blonde hair flutter as I push him on a swing in the park. I would not get to fret over baby gas and midnight feedings. I was carrying him in my body still, but this was all the time I would get with him. God took him from me.

I have been in to see the doctor every business day since then. That first day I cried off and on all day. Each day has gotten a little better since then. Today I went in to see the doctor again, and scheduled a D&C for tomorrow. I thought that I wanted to just let the pregnancy pass naturally, but I was calling to myself a world of pain that I haven't got the ability to handle. The bleeding started last night, and the cramping is terrible. They said that the pain, cramping, and miscarriage process could last up to 6 weeks. I read an account online of a woman who took 6 months to finish expelling everything. I grieve with each cramp, and am dreading seeing any part of the pregnancy come out. So, I gladly accepted an appointment for a D&C when it came up today, and I will be relieved to have it over in one fell swoop. Then I can recover, and maybe eventually we will get another chance.

Each day the pain gets a little less, but I will never forget. I will never forget my precious little one, waiting for me in Heaven. He is with God, and is now like an angel. I know he is praying for me, and enjoying Jesus until I can be there to hold him myself.

His name is Tristan. The name came to me on the way to the hospital on Thursday, as I was contemplating his death. I couldn't share my name suggestion until later that night, because of the eminent threat of hysterics lurking at the edge of my control.  I have a fear of beginning to cry when I am feeling sorrow or pain. I have a hidden terror that it will take me over, and I will never be able to stop. That I will die under the weight of it.

After discussing it with David later that day, we decided that Tristan was a wonderful name. His middle name is Honor. Tristan means "sounds of battle; clash of swords". It fits him because as soon as I heard the news I knew he was in Heaven, fighting for God as a mighty warrior- the first of his daddy's arrows against the powers of darkness (Psalm 127). He is my little champion, and it is an honor to carry him.

Now, I hold the pain in my heart, as well as in my body at this point. It is my evidence, and validation. I have a child. He exists. He has a name, and he had a body. I only got to have a small taste of motherhood, but it was real. He is an intimate stranger, my little one. I never got to know his thoughts and feelings about anything, and yet he knew me from the inside out. 

I said this to a dear friend earlier, and it's too good not to record here:
Sometimes I see a woman trudging along with an obvious bump, holding her precious cargo, her gift and blessing. I wonder if she knows how blessed she is. I feel my loss, and I wonder if she knows how much people like me would love to trade places with her. How much some of us wish we could have felt the aches and pains of our baby stretching, growing, and moving inside of us. How some of us don't get to be miserable the way she is because God takes our babies and gives us a different pain, a pain that will never, never go away. It may diminish and fade, but it will always be there in some part, to some extent. 

My firstborn will not walk with me, because he is already walking with God.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I haven't forgotten about my blog- there has just been so much going on lately! And there have been a lot of good things happen for us and others, and I'm not free to share just yet... So wish I could!

Everything is going really well. We harvested our second tomato from our very expensive patio-variety tomato plants yesterday. The first tomato that we might have harvested got eaten by a pesky squirrel.  I no longer feel sad when I see a dead one on the side of the road... Okay, maybe I still do a little. But it's kindred shouldn't have eaten my Tomato!

I've still been enjoying my coffee.  I love hazelnut creamer! I've switched to half-caf and started drinking more water in an effort to be healthier.  I've been doing other things to be healthier also.  I saw someone's post on facebook that said conventionally grown strawberries are covered in pesticides so toxic while they're growing, that people aren't allowed in the fields for fear of poisoning. So, I was a little freaked out about that, and now I have committed to only eating organic strawberries.  If you've never looked into it, just google "Dirty Dozen produce". I've also been making an effort to only eat organic meat/ animal products, since I don't want to exacerbate my existing hormonal issues with the hormones found in abundance in conventionally raised livestock. This isn't too hard for me, though, because we have a plentiful supply of beef from David's PawPaw, who gives us some of his free-range pasture-fed beef/ steaks each year.  Every year PawPaw buys five or so calves and then turns them out into a back pasture. Then, about a year later, he slaughters them and distributes meat amongst all his kids and grandkids.  I am very thankful for his generous heart. And the fact that he passed his generous spirit on to his daughter, who taught it to her son, whom I married and enjoy.

Also, I have a little confession... I am addicted to my Amazon.com wishlist.  I can waste soooo much time adding things to it and salivating over what I want to buy from it. There are almost 1200 things on my wishlist right now. Yikes! I would say I am greedy, but most of it is books- and can one ever have too many books? I thought not. Also, I don't have much intention of buying for myself the majority of what's on my list. I do enjoy looking at it all though. I know, I'm baaaaaad....

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Homestudy- CHECK!!

We finally got the homestudy done! This past Monday, our new caseworker came by and stayed for over four hours. Pretty much all of that time was spent in interviews. Of course, my answers took a lot more time than David's. My individual interview took an hour and fifteen minutes, whereas David's only took 35 minutes. It all went pretty smoothly, and she seemed to enjoy her time with us.

Yesterday we had a whole bunch of people over for the 4th. I had a great time, and I was so excited to have so many people from church and my family all together. Of course, it wouldn't be a true party without whipping out the Settlers of Catan. David won. He's the man.

I made so many things from Pinterest.  It has become my new hobby/addiction. For the party we made steaks with a marinade from pinterest, macaroni salad (pinterest), rattlesnake bites (pinterest), sugar cookies (pinterest), lemon icebox pie, fruit kabobs (pinterest), apple cinnamon cake (pinterest), and corn casserole (pinterest). We also grilled hot dogs and made lemonade and tea. Then, guests brought lots of yummy stuff as well. We had quite the spread when it was all said and done!

I have been doing a lot of cooking from recipes found on pinterest throughout the week as well. Tonight for dinner we had fried cabbage with bacon and onions and some more rattlesnake bites.  The cabbage was so good that we kept eating it with our fingers before it was time to sit and eat....Hey, I won't judge you if you don't judge me....

When I told my sister about the fried cabbage recipe, and about how she NEEDED to try it ASAP, she was like fried?? It's not one of those state fair variety breaded-and-dropped-in-a-vat-of-hot-grease type fried. Its the whole sauteed-in-a-bit-of-bacon-grease-in-a-frying-pan-and-we're-from-the-south-y'all-where-we-don't-use-words-like-saute type of fried. And it is delicious.

Here's the recipe:
You're welcome.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Tonight we had a lovefest with the animals.  All three were involved and committed to the playing with toys. The cats were so excited that they just about had an aneurysm. They were overloaded with joy at the experience of their life not being boring for 20 minutes.

David made some really delicious lemonade the day before yesterday. He used half the recommended amount of lemonade mix (Countrytime) and then sweetened it up with Sweet n low. Then he added four slices of lemon to soak. And it is sooooo tasty. And pretty. I am addicted. Usually full strength lemonade leaves me feeling a sugar overload, but this stuff is nice, light, and refreshing. And it doesn't leave my lips feeling sticky.

Yesterday we drove all 35 minutes over to our adoption agency. I wanted to meet our new caseworker in person before the homestudy, and we had the last of our paperwork all gathered up to turn in. She was SO nice!! She seemed to really like us, and was way more on the ball and accommodating than the last guy. She is also really good about getting back to us quickly. She went ahead and gave us a tentative time and date for the homestudy! I was impressed because their initial policy line is, "I'll check and see who is available, and after the director looks over your file and approves it we will get back to you." But this awesome lady was just like, "You know what? I have some free time, so I'll just do it. Can I put you down for next Monday?" Can I say again that she is awesome? And she emailed today to let us know that the director is fine with it, and she will see us Monday morning at 10:30. Great!

Before we went to the agency we stopped by the hospital to get my blood drawn for another test. They are looking at my progesterone levels to see if I ovulated this time. There is some doubt in my mind if I did or not, because there was a big mix-up and I didn't end up taking the Ovidrel shot, which would help trigger ovulation. I forgot to call and tell the pharmacist when to fill the prescription, so when we needed it, they hadn't ordered it yet. Doh. So I freaked out a little, and then just decided to stop worrying about it and let God work in this. If He wants me to get pregnant, nothing will stop it. If He doesn't, then nothing will make it happen. I know I will soon be a mommy either by adoption or by biology, and that He delights in creating families, so I feel secure. He has promised to make the barren woman a happy mother of children. And sometimes that is through adoption. Not everyone clings to and claims that promise, but I do. And I think that some women who struggle with fertility problems end up being very fruitful spiritual mothers, even if they don't get to raise as many (or any) children in their home as they would have liked.

Last weekend we went up to IKEA and finally bought a crib and changing table. We wanted to have it all set up and put together for the safety inspection. I am super pumped about it.  The nursery is pretty much in order now, except I still want to get a rocking chair for the nursery and a bassinet for our bedroom.  Also, I need to get two changing pads- one for upstairs and one for downstairs. And there's a whole list of other stuff I need to get, but I'm sure that someone will want to throw a shower and I can register for some of this stuff.

So, I find out tomorrow morning if I ovulated or not. I am anxious to hear. And I have 5 days left til the homestudy.  This is the big one, folks. The one we have been nervous about since we first started the process. The one where the agency decides if we are sane and stable enough to take in a baby, and if they like us enough to help us do so. I don't know of any reason they wouldn't decide in our favor on both of those topics, but I am nervous about being judged all the same. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dreaming of Quiche

I have had this insatiable craving to gaze longingly at pictures and recipes of quiche lately. I'm hesitant and quakey at the idea of actually trying to make one, but the pictures of them just look so, so, so good. So I just thrill myself with a handful of Raisinets and a couple hours of perusing food blogs with pictures and recipes of other people's quiches. Lorraine, asparagus, broccoli, even cheeseburger... they all melt my butter.  I am an equal-opportunity quiche admirer.

Today I took my last dose of estradiol and dexamethasone (i.e., hormone supplement and steroid). If my ovaries were a high school football team, the meds I take each cycle would loosely be characterized: Clomid as the coach, estradiol as the cheerleaders, and dexamethasone as the parent coalition. The Clomid tells the ovaries to make the eggs, the estradiol supports the development, and the dexamethasone (the steroid) keeps everyone from acting up.

Anyway, at this point I feel like I would do anything for a baby. I would even like to just borrow one for awhile. The hormones are running high, and I have a bad case of the baby-gimmes.

We now have a scheduled date for our safety inspection of our house. We are doing our best to jump back into the process of getting approved to adopt, and that is the second to last step.  The final step is the home study.

This whole adoption journey has been complicated.  It's a practical, time-consuming, and emotional journey all rolled into one. We went through a phase in the last four months or so where we both got pretty overwhelmed by it all and just needed to stick our heads in the sand for a while. After all, this isn't like buying a goldfish.  This is an eternal, human life we're considering incorporating into our household for the long-haul, and training, teaching, and discipling for the glory of God. That, and ultimately we have the same issues as every human being on the face of the earth.  We are subject to fear and selfishness.

We debated for a while whether or not we were pursuing adoption to please God or to try and circumvent His plan and fulfill our desires for a child ourselves. We want a family so badly, and we wanted to be careful that we weren't rushing forward by our own purposes and designs like Abraham and Sarah did with Hagar. We want to trust God with our family, and sometimes it gets a little confusing trying to tell which direction he wants us to go.

So, we took a break. And, I had my surgery.  I decided that it would be good to make sure that I am healthy before we deliberately take on more responsibility. It would be one thing if God had just gone, "BAM! Baby!" and I got pregnant the way I was- obviously He knows best and would have sustained me through it. It's another thing to initiate a child's arrival ourselves while in a condition that's not conducive to being the best mommy I can be.

The break was also nice because we went through a very stressful period where well-meaning friends and family members suggested different scenarios where a baby might be available for adopting or need a home. I know that each time my friend/family member's heart was in the right place, but each time was such an emotional roller coaster. This happened three times, and by the time January was on its way out I was exhausted. I even went through a phase where my heart cried out, "God, if You decide to miraculously cause us to conceive a baby, fine. But I'm really okay with just my husband and my cat."

Thankfully I have pulled through, and am firmly on the other side of those sentiments. I once again feel emotionally secure and capable of survivng the process and cherishing children of my own. The desperation and impatience isn't eating me alive anymore.

I know some may wonder if it's wise to jump back into pursuing adoption while we are trying to conceive naturally as well. I wonder that, too. I also know that the more avenues I am pursuing the less anxious and obsessed I feel about each particular one. Having both options open clears the air, and helps me feel secure that it is going to happen. And not pursuing both avenues leaves me feeling sad.  I have a very strong feeling that God wants to build our family in both ways, and I am excited to see what he is going to do.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tomatoes and Eggs

I was so, so tempted to buy me some baby chicks today. David is so, so lucky that I chose instead to distract myself at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  As a result, there are now ruffles adorning our shower and a spiffy new set of shelves for holding towels, and no baby chicks making the noise with the peeping.... And yes, I am aware that I just finished using a whole lot of really bad English.  I felt like it.

We started off this morning with the doctor. David had to get some blood drawn, and then I went for an appointment with the fertility doc to count eggs.  This is my second round of Clomid. They found one egg/ follicle. I was a little disappointed.  I was hoping for two or three follicles, in hopes that it would give us better odds of just getting one baby, but as a wise friend of mine pointed out: "All you need is one." We are hoping that I get the benefit that others have noted of increased fertility post-hystersalpingogram. They did that test on me Monday- they injected some dye into my innards to make sure my Fallopian tubes were all clear.  They say that doing that test kind of flushes everything around and refreshes things, and gives a temporary spurt of increased fertility. It wasn't pleasant. It also wasn't the worst thing ever, but I would prefer not to do it again.

So, after the egg hunt and doctor visit was over, I dropped D off at work, and then proceeded to merrily gallavant around the town, tra-la, tra-la, tra-la-la-la-la, flinging coins to the peasants and twirling ribbons. And found myself wandering around a plant nursery daydreaming about making my way home with a truckload of flowers. To decorate the coop for the baby chicks. And maybe a duckling for good measure....

David and I have been talking about planting a garden, and honestly, the idea is just too scary for me at this point.  But I salivate over the thought of fresh-picked tomatoes. And fried green tomatoes.... droooool.... So, I bought a couple of patio tomato plants that can stay in their little pots they came in and still sprout off a few fruits before they wither and die. I am delighted. And tickled pink. And a little giddy....

Then, to top it all off, I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and got a few little things to give my master bath a facelift. And now my house is the proud owner of gratuitous ruffles.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Feeling Weigh Down

This is the second day I have felt completely terrible. David passed on a doozy of a bug to me! I can't eat anything without feeling queasy and disgusted, and drinking isn't much better.  I have been doing my best to stay hydrated despite it all, though. I have discovered G2 Raspberry Lemonade. It tastes great, which increases my minuscule amount of desire to drink it.... Also, it isn't quite as loaded with empty calories as normal Gatorade, and it helps replace electrolytes.

In our house, Gatorade is now referred to as "my Alligator", due to the overwhelming cuteness of one of our friends' sons. His name is Judson. He is two. I bought him and his sisters Sonic slushies last week, and the entire afternoon he was beside himself with glee over his Gatorade slush, which he called "my alligator." Love!

The upside of feeling bad is that my diet has taken care of itself lately.  I have gotten to the point post-surgery where I can eat enough to not lose anymore weight-- especially if I am bad and eat foods classified as "sliders". Sliders are anything with high carbs/ high sugars that slide right through the sleeve. Things like candy, chocolate, crackers, chips, etc. Fruits and Vegetables also slide pretty easy, but they don't count as bad foods since they are high in nutrition and low in calories. The addition of dips, dressings, butter, oil, etc. would change their status to bad, though. If I am good about sticking to my eating plan, and stick to mostly meat and vegetables, I am not quite at the place where I can eat enough to gain weight. Meat and protein-rich foods stay in the sleeve longer, and make you full much quicker.

Anyway, the point is that I haven't wanted to eat anything in 24 hours, let alone the bad stuff. It hasn't been pleasant, but it will be nice to see the weight go down with little effort. My wonderful David has been so good to me, and has indulged my whims for liquids just to make sure I don't get dehydrated. Also, he is bringing me home some Orange Sherbet Push-pops. I love them.

This whole weight loss surgery process has made for an interesting few months. David has been so supportive and understanding throughout it all. The week before the surgery last December, he bought me a recliner for me to sleep in while I was recovering (I read on several message boards that this was a must-have, and I highly recommend it). It is now my favoritest place to sit in the whole house. For a good 8 weeks after surgery I was almost completely miserable.  I didn't want to do anything. All I wanted to do was sit in my chair and either sleep or read a book. I had a few spurts of energy here and there, and I was super encouraged seeing the weight come flooding off, but for about 85% of the time I felt terrible and had to try very hard to be pleasant. Plus I had to make 3 separate trips to the ER. David was my champion through it all.

I don't know that there's any deep, significant truths or reflections in all this. I'm sure there are, but sometimes it takes time for them to find words. I am just so glad that I have a faithful God and a faithful spouse to walk with me, even through the yucky times.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Back After Another Hiatus

I just realized it has been an incredibly long time since I have posted anything! Again!

 So, to update, the adoption stuff is on hold. We still want to, but we decided to take few months and see if we can have a baby naturally. In the meantime, Trinket is getting plenty of cuddles.

Also, we decided to move forward in finding Zenzi a new home. We knew we would have to do it eventually, since she never met a child she didn't want to test her teeth on. It's been one month since we said goodbye, and I have gotten several updates from her foster mommy that she is doing really, really well. She loves having other Keeshonds to play with, and her sleeping arrangement has been upgraded to being in bed all night with her beloved peoples.

Another major change around here is that I had weight loss surgery last December. I have lost about 60 pounds so far! This is another reason why we wanted to give pregnancy a shot. Of course, we don't believe in doing anything to prevent a pregnancy, I just use that language to signify our using fertility meds. Today was the beginning of my second round of Clomid. I am also going in less than a week for a hysterosalpingogram, which is a test to make sure that my Fallopian tubes are clear, and don't have some kind of blockage preventing pregnancy. We are praying that everything is clear and that this round is successful. They checked out my ovaries yesterday to make sure everything looked good before starting this round of Clomid, and it all looked great. This is the first time in two years that I am completely cyst-free!

The biggest thing lately has just been an onslaught of illness- David came home Monday with a violent stomach bug, and promptly shared it with me. It has been a little miserable around here the last three days. This is also the week that our church is doing VBS, and I am supposed to be helping. I made it Monday and today, but I'm not sure if I will be going back. Puking on the kids would be a bad thing, I think.

We also just got back in town from Louisiana- we were there over the weekend for an Above Rubies retreat/ family camp. We met several new friends, and were so encouraged gathering together with like-minded believers.

That's about all I can come up with at the moment. Prayers for wellness and a bouncing bundle are appreciated always!